UMass Seminar for Students and Community Members
A Spirituality Perspective on Environmental Sustainability: A Call to Action
NRC 597 SE (SPIRE 29199) – January 21 – April 29, 2015
LOCATION: Newman Center Burke Lounge on the UMass Campus (472 North Pleasant St.)
TIME: Wednesday 7:00-8:30pm
STUDENT REGISTRATION: UMass Students may register for Natural Resource Conservation NRC 597 SE (SPIRE 29199) – Five College Students should contact Dr. Craig Nicolson
COMMUNITY MEMBER REGISTRATION: Contact Mary Jo Maffei at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-265-6390
The purpose of the seminar is to develop an understanding of how spirituality can foster environmental action and to build a connection between community members and college students around this topic. Students will receive one credit pass-fail and community members will discover a connection to the student community and the environment.
- Participants will engage in a learning community resulting in a deeper understanding of spirituality and ecology
- Students and community members will work together to engage in environmental learning as well as personal and collective action
- Participants will explore how their own sense of spirituality informs their understanding of ecological issues and challenges to global sustainability
Each week will feature a reading or presentation, a facilitated discussion, and reflection on personal and group action. There will be a group project or projects determined by the participants that will likely require time outside of class.
Date Guest Speaker_____________ Topic_________________________
Jan 21 – Dr. Craig Nicolson – Welcome and building a learning community. Discussion on A Reading.
Jan 28 – Rabbi Jacob Fine – The Sacred, Animate Earth: Jewish Perspectives on the Place of Humans in a More than Human World. Discussion on this reading (please read this before class). Also, (here is an optional online reading) to complement the discussion.
Feb 4 – Dr. Craig Nicolson – A Catholic Perspective on Spirituality and the Environment. Please read before class for discussion.
Feb 11 – Dr. Daniel Greenberg – Environmental Activism – Despair and Empowerment Please read before class.
Feb 18 – This evening will be devoted to planning an action project for the semester
Feb 25 – Mary Jo Maffei – Caring for the Soul through the Natural World: a discussion between Thomas Moore and Jane Goodall. Please read the following and consider these questions:
March 4 – The Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas – Missioner for Creation Care
PLEASE read in preparation the following sermons:
- Cultivating a heart for hope
- The grace of the world
- Rejoice and sing now, all the round earth
- Sinking back into a certain innocence
- All-out divesting
- Grief, resistance, and joy
- Feasting on hope
- and a brief passage from the book, Joy of Heaven, to Earth Come Down
Nick Grabbe posted a follow up story on the presentation titled “Addiction as Metaphor”.
March 11 – Dr. Erin Baker – Climate Change Mitigation (PowerPoint Attached)
No readings this week. Dr. Erin Baker will be talking about the challenges and opportunities related to mitigating climate change by reducing our emissions of greenhouse gasses. We will also explore what motivates us to take action.
March 25 – Mark Hart – Writing the Earth/Righting the Earth: Spirituality and Ecology in Poetry. Please see the assignment and readings linked here.
April 1 – Dr. John M. Gerber – Healing the Ecological Self: One Soul at a Time
April 8 – Patrick Bensen – Even the Fish in the Sea Pray for a Person Who Seeks Knowledge: Humanity’s Role in the World from an Islamic Perspective Please read!
April 11 (Saturday) – Optional Nature Walk – meet at 1:45pm at the Newman Center for a walk to the nearby woods.
April 15 – Project Planning
April 22 – Earth Day Potluck!
April 29 – Evaluation and Celebration
Co-sponsored by the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Newman Catholic Center Environmental Committee